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  • Writer's pictureMJP

Practical Tips for Transitioning into a Managerial Role ...

Transitioning into a managerial role can be overwhelming, but proper settling is essential for success. Settling involves transitioning, laying foundations, and taking action. Your co-workers and employees will likely compare you to the previous manager, making it essential to leave a good impression.

If your predecessor was terrible, even mediocre performance could earn you good press. On the other hand, if your predecessor was great, you have big shoes to fill, and failing to measure up can quickly turn things ugly. Thus, you have a short window to impress, and people will make up their minds early on in your tenure as a manager.

The pressure to perform may push you to make immediate disruptive changes, such as changing operation methods. However, there will always be someone who favours the status quo, no matter how disadvantageous it may be to the organisation. This group will likely oppose sudden changes, potentially setting you up to fail.

Therefore, during your first week, you should avoid the urge to make changes, even if your subordinates are pushing for it. Your first week should be an orientation phase where you learn and observe. As a new manager, you may not be aware of the unwritten rules and cultures within the organisation, making it challenging to see the full extent of the existing way of doing things.

For instance, you may come across a system that involves handwritten memos shared by a courier among team members, which may seem inefficient. You may think that digital memos shared with fancy new apps would be better, and decide to make the change immediately. However, the organisation may have held onto the old way of doing things because not everyone received a critical memo the last time the organisation attempted a new method.

Change is often perceived as a threat, and people's response to a sudden change will likely work against you. Making radical changes early on can lead to resentment. However, this does not mean you should endorse mediocrity to maintain the status quo. Changes are necessary, especially when the old ways are not working.

To approach change, you need to be patient and observe the details of what you want to change. When ready, you should communicate the changes and the reasons behind them to your team members. Being forthcoming will help carry everyone along, and the more detailed you are in explaining the "why," the less resistance you'll get.

For example, if your team members have a Netflix subscription paid for by the company, and you feel it is appropriate to cancel it, communicate the reason behind it. Cancelling it without any explanation can brew opposition, but with a few lines of "why," you can help your team get past resistance to change. In this case, you can write, "Hello Team, Netflix has been airing TV shows that are against what our company stands for. We have written to them and will be expecting them to take action within the next two weeks. If they fail to, we will be moving over to a new streaming service."

As a manager, you don't have to disclose every detail behind a proposed change. What to reveal and what not to reveal is within your discretion. However, determining what to reveal and what not to is crucial in easing changes.

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